Montpelier, VT: The Governor has informed the House that on the January 22, 2018, he approved and signed a bill originating in the House of the following title: H. 511. An act relating to eliminating penalties for possession of limited amounts of marijuana by adults 21 years of age or older.

Act No. 86 (H.511). Crimes and criminal procedure; marijuana
An act relating to eliminating penalties for possession of limited amounts
of marijuana by adults 21 years of age or older
This act removes civil and criminal penalties for possession of one ounce of
marijuana and two mature and four immature marijuana plants by adults 21 years
of age or older. Any marijuana harvested from the plants allowed does not count
toward the one-ounce possession limit. Each dwelling unit is limited to two
mature marijuana plants and four immature marijuana plants regardless of how
many persons 21 years of age or older reside in the dwelling unit. Personal
cultivation of marijuana may only occur: (A) on property lawfully in the
possession of the cultivator or with the written consent of the person in lawful
possession of the property; and (B) in an enclosure that is screened from public
view and is secure so that access is limited to only the cultivator and persons
21 years of age or older who have permission from the cultivator. Consumption
of marijuana in a public place or in a vehicle is prohibited as is possession of an
open container of marijuana in a vehicle, and violations are subject to civil
penalties. Various crimes are created related to dispensing marijuana to a person
under 21 years of age, enabling marijuana consumption by a person under
21 years of age, and using marijuana in a vehicle while in the presence of a person
under 18 years of age.
Multiple effective dates, beginning on January 22, 2018

No. 86. An act relating to eliminating penalties for possession of limited
amounts of marijuana by adults 21 years of age or older.
(H.511)
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. LEGISLATIVE INTENT; CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES
It is the intent of the General Assembly to eliminate all penalties for
possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and two mature and four
immature marijuana plants for a person who is 21 years of age or older while
retaining criminal penalties for possession, dispensing, and sale of larger
amounts of marijuana.
Sec. 2. 18 V.S.A. § 4201 is amended to read:
§ 4201. DEFINITIONS
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
* * *
(15)(A) “Marijuana” means any plant material of the genus cannabis or
any preparation, compound, or mixture thereof except:
(A) sterilized seeds of the plant;
(B) fiber produced from the stalks; or
(C) hemp or hemp products, as defined in 6 V.S.A. § 562 all parts of
the plant Cannabis sativa L., except as provided by subdivision (B) of this
subdivision (15), whether growing or harvested, and includes:
(i) the seeds of the plant;
(ii) the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and
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(iii) any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or
preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin.
(B) “Marijuana” does not include:
(i) the mature stalks of the plant and fiber produced from the
stalks;
(ii) oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant;
(iii) any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or
preparation of the mature stalks, fiber, oil, or cake;
(iv) the sterilized seed of the plant that is incapable of
germination; or
(v) hemp or hemp products, as defined in 6 V.S.A. § 562.
* * *
(43) “Immature marijuana plant” means a female marijuana plant that
has not flowered and that does not have buds that may be ob
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two mature marijuana plants or four immature marijuana plants. For a first
offense under this subdivision (A), a person shall be provided the opportunity
to participate in the Court Diversion Program unless the prosecutor states on
the record why a referral to the Court Diversion Program would not serve the
ends of justice. A person convicted of a first offense under this subdivision
shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $500.00,
or both.
(B) A person convicted of a second or subsequent offense of
knowingly and unlawfully possessing more than one ounce of marijuana or
more than five grams of hashish or cultivating more than two mature marijuana
plants or four immature marijuana plants shall be imprisoned not more than
two years or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both.
(C) Upon an adjudication of guilt for a first or second offense under
this subdivision, the court may defer sentencing as provided in 13 V.S.A.
§ 7041, except that the court may in its discretion defer sentence without the
filing of a presentence investigation report and except that sentence may be
imposed at any time within two years from and after the date of entry of
deferment. The court may, prior to sentencing, order that the defendant submit
to a drug assessment screening, which may be considered at sentencing in the
same manner as a presentence report.
(2) A person knowingly and unlawfully possessing two ounces of
marijuana or 10 grams of hashish or knowingly and unlawfully cultivating
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more than three plants of four mature marijuana plants or eight immature
marijuana plants shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not
more than $10,000.00, or both.
(3) A person knowingly and unlawfully possessing more than one pound
or more of marijuana or more than 2.8 ounces or more of hashish or knowingly
and unlawfully cultivating more than 10 plants of six mature marijuana plants
or 12 immature marijuana plants shall be imprisoned not more than five years
or fined not more than $100,000.00 $10,000.00, or both.
(4) A person knowingly and unlawfully possessing more than 10 pounds
or more of marijuana or more than one pound or more of hashish or knowingly
and unlawfully cultivating more than 25 plants of 12 mature marijuana plants
or 24 immature marijuana plants shall be imprisoned not more than 15 years or
fined not more than $500,000.00, or both.
(5) If a court fails to provide the defendant with notice of collateral
consequences in accordance with 13 V.S.A. § 8005(b) and the defendant later
at any time shows that the plea and conviction for a violation of this subsection
may have or has had a negative consequence, the court, upon the defendant’s
motion, shall vacate the judgment and permit the defendant to withdraw the
plea or admission and enter a plea of not guilty. Failure of the court to advise
the defendant of a particular collateral consequence shall not support a motion
to vacate.
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(6) The amounts of marijuana in this subsection shall not include
marijuana cultivated, harvested, and stored in accordance with section 4230e
of this title.
* * *
Sec. 4. 18 V.S.A. § 4230a is amended to read:
§ 4230a. MARIJUANA POSSESSION BY A PERSON 21 YEARS OF AGE
OR OLDER; CIVIL VIOLATION
(a)(1) A person 21 years of age or older who knowingly and unlawfully
possesses one ounce or less of marijuana or five grams or less of hashish
commits a civil violation and shall be assessed a civil penalty as follows:
(1) not more than $200.00 for a first offense;
(2) not more than $300.00 for a second offense;
(3) not more than $500.00 for a third or subsequent offense.
(b)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person 21 years of
age or older who possesses one ounce or less of marijuana or five grams or less
of hashish and two mature marijuana plants or fewer or four immature
marijuana plants or fewer or who possesses paraphernalia for marijuana use
shall not be penalized or sanctioned in any manner by the State or any of its
political subdivisions or denied any right or privilege under State law. The
one-ounce limit of marijuana or five grams of hashish that may be possessed
by a person 21 years of age or older shall not include marijuana cultivated,
harvested, and stored in accordance with section 4230e of this title.
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(2)(A) A violation of this section shall not result in the creation of a
criminal history record of any kind A person shall not consume marijuana in a
public place. “Public place” means any street, alley, park, sidewalk, public
building other than individual dwellings, any place of public accommodation
as defined in 9 V.S.A. § 4501, and any place where the use or possession of a
lighted tobacco product, tobacco product, or tobacco substitute as defined in
7 V.S.A. § 1001 is prohibited by law.
(B) A person who violates this subdivision (a)(2) shall be assessed a
civil penalty as follows:
(i) not more than $100.00 for a first offense;
(ii) not more than $200.00 for a second offense; and
(iii) not more than $500.00 for a third or subsequent offense.
(c)(1) This section does not exempt any person from arrest or prosecution
for being under the influence of marijuana while operating a vehicle of any
kind and shall not be construed to repeal or modify existing laws or policies
concerning the operation of vehicles of any kind while under the influence of
marijuana.
(2)(b)(1) This section is not intended to affect the search and seizure
laws afforded to duly authorized law enforcement officers under the laws of
this State. Marijuana possessed or consumed in violation of State law is
contraband pursuant to section 4242 subsection 4242(d) of this title and subject
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to seizure and forfeiture unless possessed in compliance with chapter 86 of this
title (therapeutic use of cannabis).
(3) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a municipality from
regulating, prohibiting, or providing additional penalties for the use of
marijuana in public places.
(d) If a person suspected of violating this section contests the presence of
cannabinoids within 10 days of receiving a civil citation, the person may
request that the State Crime Laboratory test the substance at the person’s
expense. If the substance tests negative for the presence of cannabinoids, the
State shall reimburse the person at state expense
(2) This section does not:
(A) exempt a person from arrest, citation, or prosecution for being
under the influence of marijuana while operating a vehicle of any kind or for
consuming marijuana while operating a motor vehicle;
(B) repeal or modify existing laws or policies concerning the
operation of vehicles of any kind while under the influence of marijuana or for
consuming marijuana while operating a motor vehicle;
(C) limit the authority of primary and secondary schools to impose
administrative penalties for the possession of marijuana on school property;
(D) prohibit a municipality from adopting a civil ordinance to
provide additional penalties for consumption of marijuana in a public place;
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(E) prohibit a landlord from banning possession or use of marijuana
in a lease agreement; or
(F) allow an inmate of a correctional facility to possess or use
marijuana or to limit the authority of law enforcement, the courts, the
Department of Corrections, or the Parole Board to impose penalties on
offenders who use marijuana in violation of a court order, conditions of
furlough, parole, or rules of a correctional facility.
(e)(c)(1) A law enforcement officer is authorized to detain a person if:
(A) the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person has
violated subsection (a) of this section; and
(B) the person refuses to identify himself or herself satisfactorily to
the officer when requested by the officer.
(2) The person may be detained only until the person identifies himself
or herself satisfactorily to the officer or is properly identified. If the officer is
unable to obtain the identification information, the person shall forthwith be
brought before a judge in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court for that
purpose. A person who refuses to identify himself or herself to the court on
request shall immediately and without service of an order on the person be
subject to civil contempt proceedings pursuant to 12 V.S.A. § 122.
(f)(d) Fifty percent of the civil penalties imposed by the Judicial Bureau for
violations of this section shall be deposited in the Drug Task Force Special
Fund, hereby created to be managed pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7,
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subchapter 5, and available to the Department of Public Safety for the funding
of law enforcement officers on the Drug Task Force, except for a $12.50
administrative charge for each violation, which shall be deposited in the Court
Technology Special Fund, in accordance with 13 V.S.A. § 7252. The
remaining 50 percent shall be deposited in the Youth Substance Abuse Safety
Program Special Fund, hereby created to be managed pursuant to 32 V.S.A.
chapter 7, subchapter 5, and available to the Court Diversion Program for
funding of the Youth Substance Abuse Safety Program as required by
section 4230b of this title.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to do any of the following:
(1) require an employer to permit or accommodate the use,
consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of
marijuana in the workplace;
(2) prevent an employer from adopting a policy that prohibits the use of
marijuana in the workplace;
(3) create a cause of action against an employer that discharges an
employee for violating a policy that restricts or prohibits the use of marijuana
by employees; or
(4) prevent an employer from prohibiting or otherwise regulating the
use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing
of marijuana on the employer’s premises.
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Sec. 5. 18 V.S.A. § 4230b is amended to read:
§ 4230b. MARIJUANA POSSESSION BY A PERSON UNDER 21 YEARS
OF AGE; CIVIL VIOLATION
(a) Offense. A person under 21 years of age who knowingly and
unlawfully possesses one ounce or less of marijuana or five grams or less of
hashish or two mature marijuana plants or fewer or four immature marijuana
plants or fewer commits a civil violation and shall be referred to the Court
Diversion Program for the purpose of enrollment in the Youth Substance
Abuse Safety Program. A person who fails to complete the program
successfully shall be subject to:
(1) a civil penalty of $300.00 and suspension of the person’s operator’s
license and privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 30 days, for a
first offense; and
(2) a civil penalty of not more than $600.00 and suspension of the
person’s operator’s license and privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a
period of 90 days, for a second or subsequent offense.
* * *
Sec. 6. REPEAL
18 V.S.A. § 4230d (marijuana possession by a person under 16 years of
age; delinquency) is repealed.
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Sec. 7. 18 V.S.A. § 4230e is added to read:
§ 4230e. CULTIVATION OF MARIJUANA BY A PERSON 21 YEARS OF
AGE OR OLDER
(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person 21 years of age
or older who cultivates no more than two mature marijuana plants and four
immature marijuana plants shall not be penalized or sanctioned in any manner
by the State or any of its political subdivisions or denied any right or privilege
under State law.
(2) Each dwelling unit shall be limited to two mature marijuana plants
and four immature marijuana plants regardless of how many persons 21 years
of age or older reside in the dwelling unit. As used in this section, “dwelling
unit” means a building or the part of a building that is used as a primary home,
residence, or sleeping place by one or more persons who maintain a household.
(3) Any marijuana harvested from the plants allowed pursuant to this
subsection shall not count toward the one-ounce possession limit in section
4230a of this title provided it is stored in an indoor facility on the property
where the marijuana was cultivated and reasonable precautions are taken to
prevent unauthorized access to the marijuana.
(4) Cultivation in excess of the limits provided in this subsection shall
be punished in accordance with section 4230 of this title.
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(b)(1) Personal cultivation of marijuana only shall occur:
(A) on property lawfully in possession of the cultivator or with the
written consent of the person in lawful possession of the property; and
(B) in an enclosure that is screened from public view and is secure so
that access is limited to the cultivator and persons 21 years of age or older who
have permission from the cultivator.
(2) A person who violates this subsection shall be assessed a civil
penalty as follows:
(A) not more than $100.00 for a first offense;
(B) not more than $200.00 for a second offense; and
(C) not more than $500.00 for a third or subsequent offense.
Sec. 8. 18 V.S.A. § 4230f is added to read:
§ 4230f. DISPENSING MARIJUANA TO A PERSON UNDER
21 YEARS OF AGE; CRIMINAL OFFENSE
(a) No person shall:
(1) dispense marijuana to a person under 21 years of age; or
(2) knowingly enable the consumption of marijuana by a person under
21 years of age.
(b) As used in this section, “enable the consumption of marijuana” means
creating a direct and immediate opportunity for a person to consume
marijuana.
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(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, a person who
violates subsection (a) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than two
years or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both.
(d) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section, where the person
under 21 years of age while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway
causes death or serious bodily injury to himself or herself or to another person
as a result of the violation, shall be imprisoned not more than five years or
fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.
(e)(1) Subsections (a)–(d) of this section shall not apply to a person under
21 years of age who dispenses marijuana to a person under 21 years of age or
who knowingly enables the consumption of marijuana by a person under
21 years of age.
(2) A person who is 18, 19, or 20 years of age who knowingly dispenses
marijuana to a person who is 18, 19, or 20 years of age commits a civil
violation and shall be referred to the Court Diversion Program for the purpose
of enrollment in the Youth Substance Abuse Safety Program in accordance
with the provisions of section 4230b of this title and shall be subject to the
penalties in that section for failure to complete the program successfully.
(3) A person 18, 19, or 20 years of age who knowingly dispenses to a
person under 18 years of age who is at least three years that person’s junior
shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years in
accordance with section 4237 of this title.
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(4) A person who is 19 years of age who knowingly dispenses to a
person 17 years of age or a person who is 18 years of age who knowingly
dispenses marijuana to a person who is 16 or 17 years of age commits a
misdemeanor crime and shall be fined not more than $500.00.
(5) A person who is under 18 years of age who knowingly dispenses
marijuana to another person who is under 18 years of age commits a delinquent
act and shall be subject to 33 V.S.A. chapter 52.
(f) This section shall not apply to a dispensary that lawfully provides
marijuana to a registered patient or caregiver pursuant to chapter 86 of
this title.
(g) The provisions of this section do not limit or restrict the prosecution for
other offenses arising out of the same conduct, nor shall they limit or restrict
defenses under common law.
Sec. 9. 18 V.S.A. § 4230g is added to read:
§ 4230g. DISPENSING MARIJUANA TO A PERSON UNDER
21 YEARS OF AGE; CIVIL ACTION FOR DAMAGES
(a) A spouse, child, guardian, employer, or other person who is injured in
person, property, or means of support by a person under 21 years of age who is
impaired by marijuana, or in consequence of the impairment by marijuana of
any person under 21 years of age, shall have a right of action in his or her own
name, jointly or severally, against any person or persons who have caused in
whole or in part such impairment by knowingly dispensing marijuana to a
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person under 21 years of age or enabling the consumption of marijuana by a
person under 21 years of age.
(b) Upon the death of either party, the action and right of action shall
survive to or against the party’s executor or administrator. The party injured or
his or her legal representatives may bring either a joint action against the
impaired person under 21 years of age and the person or persons who
knowingly dispensed the marijuana or enabled the consumption of the
marijuana, or a separate action against either or any of them.
(c) An action to recover for damages under this section shall be
commenced within two years after the cause of action accrues, and not after.
(d) In an action brought under this section, evidence of responsible actions
taken or not taken is admissible if otherwise relevant.
(e) A defendant in an action brought under this section has a right of
contribution from any other responsible person or persons, which may be
enforced in a separate action brought for that purpose.
(f) A person who knowingly dispenses marijuana to a person under 21
years of age or who enables consumption of marijuana by a person under 21
years of age may be held liable under this section if the person knew, or a
reasonable person in the same circumstances would have known, that the
person who received the marijuana was under 21 years of age.
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Sec. 10. 18 V.S.A. § 4230h is added to read:
§ 4230h. CHEMICAL EXTRACTION VIA BUTANE OR HEXANE
PROHIBITED
(a) No person shall manufacture concentrated marijuana by chemical
extraction or chemical synthesis using butane or hexane unless authorized as a
dispensary pursuant to a registration issued by the Department of Public Safety
pursuant to chapter 86 of this title.
(b) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be imprisoned
not more than two years or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both. A person
who violates subsection (a) of this section and causes serious bodily injury to
another person shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more
than $5,000.00, or both.
Sec. 11. 18 V.S.A. § 4230i is added to read:
§ 4230i. EXCEPTIONS
(a) A person who is convicted of a felony for selling marijuana in violation
of section 4230 of this title or selling a regulated drug to minors or on school
grounds in violation of section 4237 of this title for an offense that occurred on
or after July 1, 2018 and who possesses one ounce or less of marijuana or five
grams or less of hashish commits a civil violation and shall be assessed a civil
penalty as follows:
(1) not more than $200.00 for a first offense;
(2) not more than $300.00 for a second offense;
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(3) not more than $500.00 for a third or subsequent offense.
(b) A person who is convicted of a felony for selling marijuana in violation
of section 4230 of this title or selling a regulated drug to minors or on school
grounds in violation of section 4237 of this title for an offense that occurred on
or after July 1, 2018 and who possesses any of the following commits a
misdemeanor and is subject to imprisonment of not more than one year or a
fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both:
(1) more than one ounce, but not more than two ounces of marijuana;
(2) more than five grams, but not more than 10 grams of hashish; or
(3) not more than six mature marijuana plants and 12 immature
marijuana plants.
Sec. 12. 18 V.S.A. § 4476 is amended to read:
§ 4476. OFFENSES AND PENALTIES
(a) No person shall sell, possess with intent to sell, or manufacture with
intent to sell, drug paraphernalia, knowing, or under circumstances where one
reasonably should know, that it will be used to plant, propagate, cultivate,
grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare,
test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or
otherwise introduce into the human body a regulated drug in violation of
chapter 84 of this title. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be
punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more
than $1,000.00, or both.
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(b) Any A person who violates subsection (a) of this section by selling sells
drug paraphernalia to a person under 18 years of age shall be imprisoned for
not more than two years or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both.
(c)(b) The distribution and possession of needles and syringes as part of an
organized community-based needle exchange program shall not be a violation
of this section or of chapter 84 of this title.
Sec. 13. 23 V.S.A. § 1134 is amended to read:
§ 1134. MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATOR; CONSUMPTION OR
POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL OR MARIJUANA
(a) A person shall not consume an alcoholic beverages beverage or
marijuana while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway. As used in
this subsection, the prohibition on consumption of marijuana by the operator
shall extend to the operator’s consumption of secondhand marijuana smoke in
the vehicle as a result of another person’s consumption of marijuana. As used
in this section, “alcoholic beverages” shall have the same meaning as “alcohol”
as defined in section 1200 of this title.
(b) A person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway shall not
possess any open container which contains an alcoholic beverages beverage or
marijuana in the passenger area of the motor vehicle.
(c) As used in this section,:
(1) “Alcoholic beverage” shall have the same meaning as “alcohol” as
defined in section 1200 of this title.
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(2) “passenger Passenger area” shall mean the area designed to seat the
operator and passengers while the motor vehicle is in operation and any area
that is readily accessible to the operator or passengers while in their seating
positions, including the glove compartment, unless the glove compartment is
locked. In a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk, the term shall
exclude the area behind the last upright seat or any area not normally occupied
by the operator or passengers.
(d) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be assessed a
civil penalty of not more than $500.00. A person who violates possesses an
open container which contains an alcoholic beverage in violation of subsection
(b) of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $25.00. A
person who possesses an open container which contains marijuana in violation
of subsection (b) of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more
than $200.00. A person adjudicated and assessed a civil penalty for an offense
under subsection (a) of this section shall not be subject to a civil violation for
the same actions under subsection (b) of this section.
Sec. 14. 23 V.S.A. § 1134a is amended to read:
§ 1134a. MOTOR VEHICLE PASSENGER; CONSUMPTION OR
POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL OR MARIJUANA
(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a passenger in a
motor vehicle shall not consume an alcoholic beverages beverage or marijuana
or possess any open container which contains alcoholic beverages in the
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passenger area of any motor vehicle on a public highway. As used in this
section, “alcoholic beverages” shall have the same meaning as “alcohol” as
defined in section 1200 of this title.
(b) A passenger in a motor vehicle shall not possess any open container
which contains an alcoholic beverage or marijuana in the passenger area of the
motor vehicle.
(c) As used in this section,:
(1) “Alcoholic beverage” shall have the same meaning as “alcohol” as
defined in section 1200 of this title.
(2) “passenger Passenger area” shall mean the area designed to seat the
operator and passengers while the motor vehicle is in operation and any area
that is readily accessible to the operator or passengers while in their seating
positions, including the glove compartment, unless the glove compartment is
locked. In a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk, the term shall
exclude the area behind the last upright seat or any area not normally occupied
by the operator or passengers.
(c)(d) A person, other than the operator, may possess an open container
which contains an alcoholic beverages beverage in the passenger area of a
motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of
persons for compensation or in the living quarters of a motor home or trailer
coach.
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(d)(e) A person who violates consumes an alcoholic beverage or possesses
an open container which contains an alcoholic beverage in violation of this
section shall be fined assessed a civil penalty of not more than $25.00.
A person who consumes marijuana or possesses an open container which
contains marijuana in violation of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty
of not more than $200.00.
Sec. 15. 23 V.S.A. § 1134b is amended to read:
§ 1134b. SMOKING USING TOBACCO OR MARIJUANA IN A MOTOR
VEHICLE WITH CHILD PRESENT
(a) A person shall not possess a lighted tobacco product or use a tobacco
substitute as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 1001 in a motor vehicle that is occupied by
a child required to be properly restrained in a federally approved child
passenger restraining system pursuant to subdivision 1258(a)(1) or (2) of
this title.
(b) A person shall not use marijuana as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 4201 in a
motor vehicle that is occupied by a child under 18 years of age.
(c)(1) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be subject
to a fine civil penalty of not more than $100.00. No and no points shall be
assessed for a violation of this section.
(2) A person who violates subsection (b) of this section commits a
misdemeanor crime and shall be subject to the following penalties:
(A) a fine of not more than $500.00 for a first offense;
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(B) a fine of not more than $750.00 for a second offense;
(C) a fine of not more than $1,000.00 for a third or subsequent
offense.
(3) A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be assessed
two points.
Sec. 16. 33 V.S.A. § 3504 is amended to read:
§ 3504. MARIJUANA AND TOBACCO USE PROHIBITED AT CHILD
CARE FACILITIES
(a) No person shall be permitted to use marijuana as defined in 18 V.S.A.
§ 4201 or to cultivate marijuana, or use tobacco products or tobacco substitutes
as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 1001 on the premises, both indoor and outdoor, of any
licensed child care center or afterschool program at any time.
(b) No person shall be permitted to use marijuana as defined in 18 V.S.A.
§ 4201, tobacco products, or tobacco substitutes as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 1001
on the premises, both indoor indoors and in any outdoor area designated for
child care, of a licensed or registered family child care home while children are
present and in care. If use of marijuana or smoking of tobacco products or
tobacco substitutes occurs on the premises during other times, the family child
care home shall notify prospective families prior to enrolling a child in the
family child care home that their child will be exposed to an environment in
which marijuana, tobacco products, or tobacco substitutes, or both, are used.
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Cultivation of marijuana in a licensed or registered family child care home is
not permitted.
(c) A person who knowingly uses or cultivates marijuana in violation of
this section commits a misdemeanor crime and shall be subject to the
following penalties:
(1) a fine of not more than $500.00 for a first offense;
(2) a fine of not more than $750.00 for a second offense;
(3) a fine of not more than $1,000.00 for a third or subsequent offense.
Sec. 17. DISPARITIES IN ENFORCEMENT OF DRUG LAWS
Findings. The General Assembly finds that:
(1) A 2013 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, The War on
Marijuana in Black and White, identified Vermont as 15th in the country and
first in New England when comparing discrepancies in citation and arrest rates
for marijuana possession. The report stated that African-Americans in
Vermont were 4.36 times more likely to be cited or arrested for marijuana
possession than whites, higher than the national average of African-Americans
being 3.73 more likely than whites to be cited or arrested for marijuana
possession. Although Vermont later decriminalized possession of small
amounts of marijuana, a 2016 report by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU,
Every 25 Seconds: The Human Toll of Criminalizing Drug Use in the United
States, found that Vermont had the third-highest racial disparity in drug
possession arrest rates in the country despite nearly identical use rates.
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(2) In the report, Driving While Black or Brown in Vermont, University
of Vermont researchers, examining 2015 data from 29 police agencies
covering 78 percent of Vermont’s population, found significant disparities in
how often African-Americans and Hispanics are stopped, searched, and
arrested, as compared to whites and Asians. According to the report, AfricanAmerican
drivers are four times more likely than white drivers to be searched
by Vermont police, even though they are less likely to be found with illegal
items.
(3) As part of efforts to eliminate implicit bias in Vermont’s criminal
justice system, policymakers must reexamine the State’s drug laws, beginning
with its policy on marijuana.
(4) According to a 2014 study conducted by the RAND Corporation, an
estimated 80,000 Vermont residents regularly consume marijuana. Except for
patients on the Vermont Medical Marijuana Registry, these Vermonters obtain
marijuana through a thriving illegal market.
(5) In November 2016, voters in Massachusetts and Maine approved
possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal use by adults 21 years of
age or older. In July 2018, both states will begin to allow retail sales of
marijuana and marijuana-infused products through licensed stores. Canada is
expected to act favorably on legislation legalizing marijuana possession and
cultivation for adults 18 years of age or older and federal administration
officials have cited the summer of 2018 as the date at which licensed retail
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stores will begin selling marijuana and marijuana-infused products to the
public.
(6) By adopting a comprehensive regulatory structure for legalizing and
licensing the marijuana market, Vermont can revise drug laws that have a
disparate impact on racial minorities, help prevent access to marijuana by
youths, better control the safety and quality of marijuana being consumed by
Vermonters, substantially reduce the illegal marijuana market, and use
revenues to support substance use prevention and education and enforcement
of impaired driving laws. The Governor’s Marijuana Advisory Commission, as
provided in Executive Order No. 15-17, has been directed to report on such a
system on or before December 15, 2018.
Sec. 18. EFFECTIVE DATES
This section and Sec. 17 shall take effect on passage and the remaining
sections shall take effect on July 1, 2018.
Date Governor signed bill: January 22, 2018

https://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2018/Docs/ACTS/ACT086/ACT086%20As%20Enacted.pdf